Monday, December 04, 2006

When We Were Kings

When We Were Kings,

Leon Gast's documentary account of the 1974 Muhammad Ali George Foreman Heavy weight Boxing Championship bout took 22 years to release, a byproduct of protracted legal wranglings with the financiers.

Finally opening in 1996 it was worth every minute of the biblically long delay. Hailed as the best boxing documentary ever made it achieves much more than that constrained accolade. It's heroes and villains manage to create a higher pitch precisely because they are flesh and blood, beyond the imagination of any fictional creation.

To see Ali at the peak of his powers is to appreciate the charisma that captured the imagination of a previous generation, far removed from the old man humbled by the strictures of Parkinsons seen today.

The trailer gives an inkling of the heady mix of emotion and pageantry that surrounded the event in the unsettling backdrop of Mobutu's Zaire.

The pivotal point of the fight is caught in the words of Norman Mailer further adding to the experience.

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